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Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1.1 Checking out your digital footprint

You may have heard the phrase ‘digital footprint’. This is about the traces you leave online. It includes information about you and your online activity such as:

  • profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn
  • photographs that you or others have posted online
  • anything that has been written about you, for example, on discussion boards or Facebook.

Your digital footprint can be shaped by what others put online about you. This may not always be within your control. However, doing this course will show you how you can ensure that your digital footprint is what you would like it to be. The following activity will help you to find out what your digital footprint currently looks like.

Activity 1 Reviewing your digital footprint

Timing: 10 minutes

Take a moment to think about the places where you have been or are currently active online. Even if you are not very active online, it is still worth doing the activity to establish your starting point for developing your digital identity.

Put your name into a search engine and see what comes up. Any surprises?

Make a note in the box below of anything you want to change or improve.

Look at the feedback when you are ready.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


When you googled your name you may have found:

  • evidence of your activity on Facebook or other social media sites
  • older information that you had forgotten existed
  • material written about you by other people, or referring to events you have attended
  • photos that you weren’t aware of
  • instances of where you have accessed certain websites, for example, when commenting on what other people have written.

On the other hand, you may have found very little about yourself or, depending on how common your name is, you may have found mentions of other people who are not you. This is a good starting point from which to develop your digital profile. In the rest of this week you will have opportunities to think about what is important to you and how you want your digital footprint to reflect that.